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PV Engineering

Expert Engineering for Performance and Efficiency

Engineering Overview
  • PV Engineering includes equipment specification as well as the electrical, structural, and physical design of a PV array.
  • The main components of a PV array are the Solar Modules, DC Electrical System, Inverters, AC Electrical System, and the Module Racking System.
Photovoltaic Modules
  • Photovoltaic or PV Modules are the heart of the PV system. The modules provide an environmentally isolated enclosure for the solar cells that convert the sun's electromagnetic radiative power into electrical power
  • Solar modules generally contain either 60 or 72 solar cells connected in a specific series and parallel circuit to provide the modules specified current, voltage, and power characterisitics.
  • In most modules, the solar cells are either single crystal or polycrystalline Silicon. Other cell types such as Amorphous Silicon or CdTe exist, but Crystalline Silicon and Polysilicon cells currently dominate the market due to their low cost and relatively high efficiency.
Inverters
  • Solar modules produce DC or constant current and voltage. The inverter is an electronic device that contains circuits which convert the DC voltage into a time varying AC voltage signal that matches the utility grid.
  • Modern solar Inverters are often equipped with Maximum Power Point Trackers that tune the operating point of the solar moduels to maximize the output of the solar array.
  • The inverter also communicates with the system monitoring equipment to track the performance of the array.
Module Racking
  • Solar Modules must be anchored so that they are exposed to the maximum amount of solar energy. It is also important to ensure the modules are protected from physcial damage due to weather.
  • There are many different type of racking systems for different applications
  • Solar Modules can be mounted on most flat roofs without having to penetrate the roof's surface. Standing seam metal roof offer especially good environments to mount solar modules.
  • Solar modules can also be mounted on pitched roofs using custom designed brackets and flashing